Friday, 1st February (1918)

On the manure cart again today with one Perrin (sergeant likes to call out “Lee and Perrin” for fatigue).  Excitement when a couple of tommies dopey with cold and dolce far niente,* stood in our way until we were right on them and one of them got such a shock that he fell beneath my sacred and plunging mules.  Managed to hold them back on their haunches whilst he scrambled off on his hands and knees in the mire. My donks, still indignant over their dipping are amusing in their preference for walking on two legs.  They appear to blame one another for the whole affair, for ever since our return yesterday they have been standing a long way apart and intermittently kicking one another in the ribs or nipping at one another’s noses.  Varium et mutabile semper Mulier.  If the ground doesn’t freeze tonight I’m going to pull out a handful of Jack Frost’s whiskers – you might do a drawing of that.  These cold nights the air in the Nissen Hut with some 30 sleepers and every aperture tight shut, gets very putrid.  On waking I light a fag and suck a “Negroid”** before stepping gingerly out on to the ice-slide caused by midnight urinating from the doorstep.

* pleasant idleness

** a brand of candy

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